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Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
From the Observatory -

Briefly, very briefly, it is, after all, a 79 page lyric essay, more than half, of which, is comprised of photos.

We’re wondering here about humanity although we’re talking about eels and stars; something that comes from music, amorous battles and seasonal rhythms, something the analogy senses in the sponge, in the lung and the systole, stammers without a tabulate vocabulary in a direction toward another understanding.

While predating any reference I have found, Cortázar’s lyric essay anticipates what others, most notable in my mind, [a:Eliot Weinberger|7468|Eliot Weinberger|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1297093431p2/7468.jpg], would eventually do with this most exciting of forms. Incorporating the description of the silver eel migration with reflection on the observatories designed and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in Jaipur and Delhi during the early 1700s, the essay is complemented by incredible photographs, taken by the author, and presented in black and white.

3.5 stars, rounded up. Worth the effort of pursuing in a library, but if you’re intention is to purchase essays of this type, go with EW’s [b:An Elemental Thing|753801|An Elemental Thing|Eliot Weinberger|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348609920s/753801.jpg|739920] or consider a subscription to Seneca Review, and then send me the issues as you complete them.